Vegetable Gardening Must Haves For Budget Friendly Gardeners

cabbageNow that’s it’s April we are preparing for a long season of fruitful vegetable gardening. Plots weeded and we’re just waiting for it to be plowed and staked.

We have lots of yummy vegetables already sprouted and on their way to their second set of leaves. They should be ready for transplant by the end of the month and I am excited to get out in the garden and do my thing.

So excited in fact that I just had to share all my favorite supplies. If you are just starting out you will want to pick up a few of these tools to have a successful growing season this year. These tools will get you on your way to a great season of vegetable gardening!

Ferry Morse Large Vegetable Garden

81dtYV5GrHL__SL1500_A large selection of garden vegetables. Grow your own beans, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, okra, onions, peas, peppers, radishes, squash, zucchini, tomatoes and watermelon. Plenty to feed your family and varieties to meet everyone’s taste.

The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook:

Make the Most of Your Growing Season

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Knowing exactly when to start vegetable seeds indoors, transplant them into the ground, pinch off the blossoms, and pick for peak flavor is the secret to enjoying bountiful harvests all through the season. In Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook, authors Ron and Jennifer Kujawski eliminate the guesswork with weekly to-do lists that break gardening down into easily manageable tasks.

Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 Lb

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Control of hard shell insects (fleas, ticks, ants, roaches, beetles, bed bugs, etc); Will not harm earthworms. Elimination and prevention of worms and internal parasites without chemicals. Improved coat and hoof condition. Fewer flies due to preventing fly larvae from developing in manure. Safe for Human or Animal Consumption. This is a must have for vegetable gardening for sure.

Earthworm Castings

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Earthworm castings (1-0-0) are one of nature’s most abundant and effective fertilizers. A rich, odorless, all-natural organic product that is extremely cost-effective because you use just a little to achieve big results. Four sizes available. Strong customer recognition and loyalty.

3-Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set

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The Fiskars Softouch tools provide excellent comfort and durability to make digging, cultivating and transplanting in the garden a breeze. Each soft, contoured handle fits your hand naturally and encourages a neutral wrist position to help reduce hand stress and fatigue. The flat end pad of each handle also offers a smart way to generate more leverage than other garden tool. Softouch garden tools include a lifetime warranty.

Rain Wizard

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Sterling’s Rain Wizard 50 can collect and store up to 50 gallons of this precious rainwater resource and it will help you save money! The oak colored barrel is made from ultraviolet resistant polyethylene. It is resistant to rust, mold, and rotting and features a brass spigot for easy hose hookup. There’s even a debris and bug screen to keep your water clean! The Rain Wizard 50 is designed to be child and pet safe. The barrel is made in the U.S.A.

Compost Wizard Jr.

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Please welcome the 7 cubic foot Compost Wizard Jr. This little guy is the scaled down version of its 12 cubic foot kin. The Jr. holds 7 cubic feet of compost and sits on a wheeled base. The handles now provide better grip to make turning even easier. The 12-inch twist off lid keeps your compost safely closed off but is easy to remove and even doubles as an extra turning point.

Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler

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I rent a plot every year and it is a pain in the butt to drag the hose everywhere. This year we’re installing these for easy maneuvering. The Contech Electronics Scarecrow Motion-Activated Sprinkler presents an innovative, humane way to keep pets and wildlife from disturbing your yard and garden without the use of complicated traps or potentially hazardous chemicals. The sprinkler combines a surprise spray of water with unexpected motion and noise to create a safe, effective deterrent to unwanted visitors, making vegetable gardening easy.

Tiered Cedar Raised Garden Bed

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This raised garden bed frame assembles without any tools! Simply use a hand screw driver to install the decorative tops. Tiered design is perfect for deep rooted vegetables.

Mister Landscaper VEGETABLE GARDEN DRIP KIT

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The Vegetable Garden Drip Kit is perfect for any home vegetable garden, or for the rented plot gardener! Efficiently watering your vegetable gardens has never been easier or more time efficient! Everything you need to water up to 100 linear feet of vegetables, making vegetable gardening a breeze.

Fall Garden 2013 Update – Pumpkin Almost Ready, Lettuce, Broccoli and Cabbage

It’s been a few at least a month since I shared some garden progress with you so I thought I better get those pictures rolling. This is the first year we have grown pumpkin and I have to admit I didn’t check to see what kind I planted but from the looks of it, it’s not a pie pumpkin! My son Diego said we have to leave it for a couple more days so it gets a bit more orange and then he wants to take it home to carve. I cannot wait to roast the seeds! There’s nothing more frugal then growing your own food.

garden pumpkin Continue reading “Fall Garden 2013 Update – Pumpkin Almost Ready, Lettuce, Broccoli and Cabbage”

How to Build a Bean Trellis

A trellis can be used to train beans, pumpkin, watermelon and squash or anything that has a vine. This is how I do my trellis for cucumber and beans. I would not use this type of trellis for watermelon or pumpkin as they are too heavy for this type of trellis.

Start with tall wooden stakes, I bought these from Fred Meyer for less than a $1 a piece. I used 3 but you should really have at least 4 to 6 for the space I did.

21uZKHitAuL._AA160_You will also need some twine, I used Jute twine because it was .89 cents each roll and had a cutter at the end which made my life easier. Stake each wooden stake in a single file line evenly spaced. Then once you are sure they are secure start wrapping twine in horizontal lines like the picture below.

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Once you have them evenly spaced start adding vertical lines of twine. Make sure to overlap the twine on each vertical line like the next picture.

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When completely finished your trellis should look something like this.
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As you train your vegetables up the trellis you may need to cut leaves and manually attach any vines to trellis. As the plant grows it will attach itself to the trellis and climb.

 

Fall Vegetable Planting for Zone 8 and 9

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Your summer garden is coming to an end and you’ve produced a lot, you are probably thinking you are done for the season but there are many Fall crops you can plant in mid summer and early September to carry you for another 3 or 4 months. Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, kale, turnips, beets, fava beans, carrot, mustard greens, cucumber, onion sets, radish, spinach, garlic, green beans, artichokes and some potato varieties grow well in the fall months.

When planting for a fall crop you want to start your seeds indoor for faster and stronger growth. When they get their second set of leaves they are ready to be transplanted. Before transplanting, take the plant starts outside and let them adjust to being outdoors for a week before transplanting into the ground. Once they go into the ground make sure you are watering them daily using a sprinkler nozzle on low. You don’t want to drench them at this stage because they need time for their root to establish themselves deep into the soil bed.

It is a personal preference but there are some vegetables that I believe are better off being directly seeded into the ground verses planting by seedling. The belief is that their root system is delicate and will be damaged by transplant. I have personally tested both ways and have found that direct seeding is better for these plants: carrot, radish, cucumbers, lettuce, parsnips and turnips. May gardeners state that squash should be directly seeded as well but I prefer to transplant them.

Zone 8 and 9 Fall Planting Schedule

August 1st: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, artichokes, turnips, parsnips, garlic, beets, fava beans, collard greens, kale and spinach.

August 20th: Carrot, mustard greens, cucumbers, potato, squash and green beans.

September 1st: lettuce, onion sets, radish.

Carrot and radish can be planted in rows two weeks apart for a continuous crop. So for example, plant one row of carrot followed by one row of radish. Wait two weeks and plant an additional row of carrots and radish.

Zone 7 is Washington State, Zone 8 is

One Kings Lane Gardening Tips

photo credit Amazon
photo credit Amazon

 

Outdoor entertaining is one of the great joys of spring and summer. Until, of course, the bugs invade. In place of spray and pesticides, try a cluster of mosquito-repelling potted plants. Grouped together near a seating area on your deck or patio, they make a pretty and lush addition to your outdoor landscape while also protecting you and your guests. Check out One Kings Lane’s article Easy Update: Mosquito-Repelling Potagerie for more information about how a trio of lush potted plants will have you saying good-bye to bug spray.

Community Garden Update – Squash & Melon Beds

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I planted these beds in early June and at the time they were just starts and I wasn’t sure how they were going to do because I started a few weeks late. I must say they are healthy and taking off real nicely.
Pictured are watermelon, cantaloupe, an unidentified melon, butternut squash, patty pan squash ( it might have died actually, can’t remember), a yellow cucumber, I think we have a zucchini, a pickling cucumber and a pumpkin.

Not pictured, we have lots of tomato plants (some heirloom), tomatillo ( purple and green), pepper plants, sweet bell peppers, broccoli, egg plant, onions, radishes, red leaf lettuce, and there’s probably a plant or two I missed

I planted carrot and spinach couple days ago. It’s a bit too early for Spinach so We’ll just have to see how it does. At home I have a potato barrow that’s not doing too hot. I don’t think it’s going to survive this year.

What do you have in your garden? Share by leaving me a comment.

How to Sprout Beans at Home

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Beans are one of the easiest things to sprout from seed without any soil needed. They take approximately 3 days to spout and if you place them on a warm surface you might see sprouting activity in as little as 24 ours.

Start off with whole dried beans you purchase from a seed company or use whole dried beans you find in the organic bulk section of your store. When sprouting beans from home it really isn’t necessary to use soil. Here, I used dried Fava beans found at Whole Foods.

Place dried beans in a bowl of shallow water. You don’t need the water to be filtered. Place in a sunny location and remember to replenish water when so it’s never dry. To speed sprouting time place the bowl on  your stove top when you cook in the oven, so that the seeds get warmth.

 

My Growing Potatoes Journey Part 1

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About a week ago I posted a picture of potatoes I had let sit too long and they formed eyes. Several of you suggested I plant them and only a couple suggested I just cut the eyes off and eat them. In fact it seemed like cutting the eyes off the potatoes to eat the potato was extremely taboo on my page! I have to admit I was a little surprised by that and also concerned because our country once relied to heavily on agriculture that we would just know potatoes are edible even though they have eyes. It seems today’s generation has lost some of it’s farmers. I would say it is evidenced by the reactions on my page. There was a time when eating an old potato would not be taboo! This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just find it interesting how our culture has changed over the years:)

Anyway, I did end up planting them. Well, actually first I cut them into chunks and then planted them. I was worried that since they were store bought maybe they would not grow so after a week I dug several up. I was surprised to find out they all rooted extremely fast.

It looks like I will have a crop of gold and red potatoes this year and I am totally excited about that.

Let’s Get Those Gardens Into Shape

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I am really excited for this summer because I will be with a garden again. Last year we weren’t able to get a plot because they sold out and we had just moved into a tiny apartment with a back patio that blocks out the sun.

This year my sister was able to get one of the community gardens that usually sell out too fast. It is a 20×20 plot and we both will be showing you how to grow a garden stocked full of the most important vegetables to feed a family year round. There will be introduction to seed starting, transplanting, keeping them alive, fertilizing, harvesting, and production methods like canning and freezing for year round use.

I can’t wait to share all the exciting ways you can grow a garden full of edible produce. Not only is it healthier to grow your own food but it is also less expensive and fun for the whole family to take part in.

If you have garden questions please ask them on the blog and we will answer them through the next few months in a series of blog postings.